#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Dr. Sotiris Mitralexis, Greece
Sotiris Mitralexis, 32, comes from Greece and holds three doctorates: in philosophy, theology and political science. While studying for his bachelor’s degree in classical philology, he spent a semester as an Erasmus scholarship holder at the Free University of Berlin. It was there that he also wrote his dissertation in philosophy, for which he received funding in the form of a DAAD scholarship from 2011 to 2014. Today, he is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Athens and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester in the UK.
'I belong to a generation that did not have to achieve European integration first but was born into the EU. One of the results of this is that many people no longer see the EU as an achievement, but blame it for all the problems that exist. I strongly believe we have to try to reintegrate those who are dissatisfied. One way of doing this would be through greater transparency: I think that meetings of the European Council, the Eurogroup and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) should be broadcast live. This may sound like a crazy idea to some – but sessions of parliament, for instance, are nowadays broadcast live as a matter of course. Why shouldn’t the same thing be possible for meetings of the executive?
After all, one of the main accusations of critics is that there is a lack of transparency concerning crucial decisions made by the EU that have a decisive impact on the lives of its citizens. This accusation would be invalidated if we had greater transparency.
Discussions on the future of Europe – such as the DAAD alumni event – show that regular citizens who are interested in the European project can make their voices heard. This diversity of opinion is vital.
Another important point: I believe that nothing endangers the future of Europe more than the mindset: "Your loss is my gain." This has come out very clearly once again in the resistance of some Member States to the corona bonds: they don’t want to be held liable for other EU countries. But without corona bonds and euro bonds – which are also a show of trust – I believe there is no future for Europe.
A common economic and financial policy is necessary, complete with shared debt liability. In the current crisis in particular, the EU can’t stop where it is now because that would only strengthen the nationalists in the individual countries. Instead, we should continue along the path towards deeper unification. This ultimately means a relationship between the EU states as exists in Germany between the federal level and the regional states.'